Strategic Plan for the UNIMARC Core Activity


The UNIMARC Core Activity is concerned with the maintenance and promotion of the Universal MARC format originally created by IFLA to facilitate the international exchange of bibliographic data. Over the years the format has been extended to other data and has also served as model for, or been used as, national format by a range of countries. The UNIMARC Core Activity will work with other IFLA professional units, e.g., the Division of Bibliographic Control and the sections on Information Technology and of National Libraries. It will also, when relevant, liaise with other international organizations such as the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL), ISO TC46 and the ISSN International Agency.


All goals are mostly linked to IFLA Professional Priority "Promoting Standards, Guidelines and Best Practices", but some may also be linked to "Promoting Resource Sharing" (Goal 3)," Providing Unrestricted Access to Information" (Goal 4), and "Developing Library Professionals" (Goal 5).

Goal 1
Ensure the maintenance and promotion of UNIMARC through the Permanent UNIMARC Committee (PUC) of experts and a revised and reinforced structure including the creation of a UNIMARC group of users.


1.1 Ensure the transfer from the Deutsche Bibliothek to the National Library of Portugal and create, in cooperation with IFLA Headquarters, a group of users; investigate sources of other external funding.

1.2 Review, if necessary, the terms of reference of the Permanent UNIMARC Committee; organize elections in 2003; arrange PUC meetings in St. Petersburg (March 2002) in cooperation with the host, in Glasgow (August 2002), and similar events in 2003.

1.3 Continue to work as Secretariat of the Permanent UNIMARC Committee, take minutes of all meetings and coordinate work of various sub-groups (e.g., Classification, Holdings, Music).

1.4 Promote harmonization activities with MARC21, both to ensure the accomplishment of UNIMARC`s first aim which is to act as a universal exchange format and to help in the improvement of universal bibliographic control activities.

1.5 Take part in harmonization activities with bodies maintaining other metadata formats, especially the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.

Goal 2
Develop and promote various UNIMARC formats and guidelines with particular attention to new technological developments.


2.1 Finalize the Update 4 to the UNIMARC Manual-Bibliographic Format.

2.2 Develop the format with further consideration of electronic resources, of new provisions of the ISBD (CR), of music, and other users` requirements.

2.3 Complete the UNIMARC format for Classification.

2.4 Complete the UNIMARC format for Holdings.

2.5 Analyse and develop tools for interoperability of metadata (MARC 21, Dublin Core, ONIX) and syntax (ISO 2709, XML, etc.). Analyse and develop tools for migration to the UNICODE standard.

Goal 3
Facilitate the international exchange of authority data by further developing the UNIMARC format for authorities, liaising with other interested parties, e.g., the Working Group on Functional Requirements and Numbering of Authority Records (FRANAR).


3.1 Review the UNIMARC format for Authorities in accordance with new UNIMARC Bibliographic fields and requests from users.

3.2 Liaise with interested parties e.g., FRANAR, INTERPARTY.

Goal 4
Continue to publish the UNIMARC manuals and other documentation and make them available on the Internet.


4.1 Publish Update 4 to the UNIMARC Manual-Bibliographic and update the concise version on the IFLANET.

4.2 Post a concise version of the UNIMARC/Authorities based on the second revised and enlarged edition.

4.3 Publish UNIMARC for Classification and UNIMARC for Holdings.

4.4 Post UNIMARC proposals and PUC decisions on a Website.

Goal 5
Organize seminars, workshops and training sessions, participate in related events and act as clearing-house for information on relevant activities.


5.1 Schedule workshops in conjunction with PUC meetings (as in Portugal in 2000) and organize regional seminars on requests. Hold a workshop during the IFLA Conference in Berlin.

5.2 Participate in Workshops on the Electronic Library, New Delhi and Mumbai, India, 14-25 January 2002. (Indian Library Association, IFLA RSCAO, Middlesex University, with IFLA/NCLIS support): presentations on, and practical training in, UNIMARC various formats

5.3 Maintain the UNIMARC/DIS list, disseminate relevant information in ICBC and other professional journals as well as on the Web. Distribute relevant publications and answer all queries.


Latest Revision: May 22, 2002 Copyright ©
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